Matt Andersen has earned a reputation for being one of the most powerful live soul and rock performers of his generation. The New Brunswick native has released seven albums and toured the world over, quietly gaining an army of loyal fans who gravitate to his rumbling voice, accomplished guitar playing, and vivid lyricism. Though he’s impressed audiences on his own, his latest album is boldly produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin and features fully-fleshed out arrangements that his touring band, the Mellotones, have been bringing to life over the past few months at headlining shows and opening tour dates for Buddy Guy and Los Lobos. This latest batch of songs also features songwriting collaborations with Joel Plaskett, David Myles, Tom Wilson, Dave Gunning, and Keith Mullins among others. Andersen’s new album is called Weightless, it’s out now via True North Records, and brings Andersen to music festivals across Canada in the coming weeks, including Guelph’s Hillside Festival on July 25. Here, Matt and I talk about Ottawa, acronyms, working with Steve Berlin, Phantom Power, writing songs with Joel Plaskett and why collaborating is important, Matt’s old band Flat Top, solo is good, with and without the Mellotones and how fans have been reacting to Matt having a band, Perth-Andover New Brunswick and a Maritimes musical upbringing, soulful rock versus pop music, Creedence Clearwater Revival might be better than New Kids on the Block, Matt Andersen Blues Award Explosion, Gary the cat has to go outside, your girlfriend will take your dog with her, Matt’s self-consciousness about being called ‘Canada’s greatest guitar player,’ Stubby Fingers, playing music while others make noise, serious music/fun guy, “City of Dreams” and Detroit, not getting the simplified folk revival and how it relates to new country, the double-edged sword of being championed by Canadian folk music festivals, CBC, and Canadian music fans, backlash, writing universal songs, updates on new songs, touring in a pickup truck, Fords and Hyundais, his busy touring schedule, Elvis Presley is dead, the song “Weightless,” and then we drift away.
Related links: stubbyfingers.ca hillsidefestival.ca vishkhanna.com
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